The City of Bellingham Police Department has Code Enforcement Officers who work with property owners to protect the character of the City through the enforcement of Codes relating to the general condition of residential and commercial property and buildings. The officers are responsible for ensuring that more than 24,000 properties within the City are in compliance with the Bellingham Municipal Code (BMC).
The Code Enforcement Officers enforce a variety of codes relating to buildings and construction, land use, environment, business license and registration, parks, streets and sidewalks, junk/hulk vehicle inspections, and public nuisances. This work is accomplished through a complaint-based system, where the officers respond to complaints from community members and other City departments. After receiving a complaint, the officers will conduct an investigation and determine if a violation has occurred. The officers strive to gain compliance through notification and education. Formal enforcement action is only taken when necessary to gain compliance.
Reporting a Code Violation
Various departments in the City of Bellingham process code enforcement complaints. The most common complaints are listed below with links to online reporting options or contact information for respective departments with enforcement authority. If the link directs you to the BPD contacts page, please use the department’s general number, 360-778-8800, to be connected to the right division, based on the violation you are reporting.
Public Works Department
- Vegetation growing into street or over sidewalk
- Unpermitted dumpsters or shipping containers in the street or right of way
- Litter and illegal dumping in the street or right of way
- Stormwater pollution
Planning and Community Development
- Building code violations
- Rental/property maintenance code violations
- Planning/land use code violations
- Environmental code violations